An analysis of African American intellectuals, 1900-1972

Date
2001
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Johnson, Russell L.
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Bilkent University
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English
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Abstract

The United States in the twentieth century experienced a series of changes in terms of culture, economics, population and social movements. The black civil rights movement was one of the most important social movements in the country during the century. The struggle of African-Americans for equal rights was the main agenda of the 1960s. But, what happened before the 1960s? Why did blacks have to wait until the 1960s to achieve gains in equal rights with whites? This thesis aims at answering this question. The thesis analyzes this delay from the beginning of the twentieth century to the end of the 1960s from one point of view: The discussions and disagreements between the African-American intellectuals. The thesis shows those discussions and disagreements as one of the reasons for the delay. In doing this, the thesis details the ideas of prominent black intellectuals Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. Du Bois, A. Philip Randolph, Marcus Garvey, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Stokely Carmichael. The disagreements of these people in different periods contributed to the delay concerning the gains of equal rights in the black civil rights movement.

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